AT&T has made no bones about its need for more wireless spectrum, and now that it can't acquire T-Mobile, it's considering a myriad of options to fill in the gaps. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company is in the midst of talks with Leap Wireless, which owns the more well-known brand Cricket, saying that the two sides "have been engaged in talks about a potential deal." The talks are apparently the result of a rapport the two companies built up when AT&T was considering selling Leap some spectrum to make the T-Mobile acquisition more palatable. Though any potential deal is reportedly months away, it could remove one of the more successful smaller carriers from the marketplace.
It's no surprise that AT&T is looking at all options, including possible deals with MetroPCS and even Dish Network, which recently tussled with AT&T in FCC filings over its own wireless plans. Dish might not be interested in selling, the WSJ reports, and MetroPCS is also apparently not looking like a likely partner.
While AT&T's spectrum crunch is a problem, it has to be said that the company is still managing to roll out LTE fairly well in the short term. Compared to T-Mobile (which has yet to detail any clear LTE plans) and Sprint (which has to now manage without LightSquared's network), the situation could certainly be worse.